This show went from kitschy to CRAZAY in just one season. But I still (big) love it. It also acquired this cinematic, stylized feel. The colors got cooler and the relationships got more hostile and the sex got less frequent and the “family” idea got more drilled into our heads. But again, I love it.
I also found Chloe Sevigny’s performance particularly striking, which is probably why she snagged that Emmy. But I think she was given way more material to work with this time around. She’s really the center of the family, despite Bill’s assholish attempts to be the leader. She controls the Grants and the Henricksons, which is truly powerful stuff. This season marked a lot of things: the death of Kathy, the death of Roman (which I thought was coming next season, damn you HBO for still keeping me on the edge of my seat!), the miscarriage and engagement of Sarah, the excommunication of Barb, the monogamy of whats-his-name who works at Home Plus, and the death of Margene’s mother. All of these shitty, shitty things keep happening to the Henrickson family, and yet they insist on persevering. It’s so interesting. They keep going because they have such a strong conviction in their pluralized destiny, that they are working toward something greater than themselves. That’s the most foreign concept to me. They think of the family as something that will carry them to a celestial kingdom and all this shit, and within the context of their little world, it actually makes sense. But once you take these people out into the real world, out of Utah, they seem so sheltered and single-minded. It’s scary, it’s fascinating, and it makes for good television.
I do think this season focused too much on the wives. I want more Ben and Sarah and Teenie (has she even had more than 10 lines?) but all I get is Margene. Oh, and Albie. Albie is by far my favorite character. I get so pumped whenever he comes on the screen. Matt Ross is delightfully creepy.
One more season, then I’m caught up!